The Importance of High Quality Corporate Portrait Images

You only have 7 seconds to make a great impression on your customer

You only have 7 seconds to make a great impression on your customer

Everyone agrees that first impressions are very important and that a person has only 7 seconds to make that impression whenever you meet someone new.

With your corporate image it is no different. When a customer visits your web site, your company’s social media channels or read any corporate marketing material where your photograph appears, it is important to make a great first impression.

Having great corporate portrait imagery serves a number of purposes. People wants to see the face behind the name and it also portrays a more reputable and professional brand.

In the current digital world that we find ourselves in, human contact has become more and more distant and the first contact a customer usually has with your company is either via your web site, your social media channels or your printed marketing material. It is thus important to make the best first impression in any of these marketing channels, as this would be the face they would put to the name going forward.Having great corporate portrait imagery serves a number of purposes. People want to see the face behind the name and it also portrays a more reputable and professional brand.

People want to see the face behind the name and it also portrays a more reputable and professional brand.

People want to see the face behind the name.

People are social beings and they want to deal with a person, not just a company logo and image is very important to your customer. In many cases it would be the difference between a business deal or not.

Your company’s reputation is very important and a professional look must be part of your business marketing goals. It is also important that you regularly update your photographs. You don’t want to look like the image from your high school year book. A professionally taken corporate portrait image will ensure high quality and consistency across all marketing channels.

A coporate portrait image in your working environment

Your corporart image must not only define you, but also the environment in which you work

The images must also reflect your business and must ensure that the image not only defines you, but also the environment in which you work. A photograph with a suit and tie when you are in the construction business would not portray your business effectively. Another no-no is using ‘selfies’ that were taken on your cell phone or at a place not portraying your business.

So when you are ready next time to review your company’s marketing goals, ensure that you include your corporate portrait images as part of your marketing goals that they are done professionally and they reflect your company correctly.

Petrus Keyter
PiKs Photography –

At PiKs Photography we have a mobile photo studio and do on location Corporate Portrait photo shoots to ensure you are not out of your business environment at all. As time is money, we will work around your schedule and get the job done right, first time.

The Benefits of Corporate Christmas and Holiday Season Electronic Greeting Cards (ecards)

Click here to visit our Sepcials page for our Year  End Special on a mini photo shoot and Christmas and Holiday Season Digital Greeting Card

Just one of the many professionally designed Christmas and Holiday Season Digital Greeting Cards

With the South African Postal Service Strike now well past the 3 month mark and with no end in sight, sending traditional printed Christmas and Holiday season greeting cards to your customers this year might not be such a good idea.

On the other hand, sending electronic greeting cards to your customers, rather than the traditional method of sending cards have a great number of benefits.

The three most important advantages of making use of electronic greeting cards are that it saves you time; it is affordable and it is great for your company’s reputation and brand building.

With more and more companies moving to electronic communications rather than traditional postal services, it only requires you to set up an email with your electronic greeting card and then send it to your selected email lists. There is no time needed to write addresses on envelopes or stick on address labels or stamps. There is also no need to go to the Post Office to mail letters. With the South African Postal Services on strike, you will definitely not reach your customer base this year if you are going to send traditional printed Christmas or Holiday Season greeting cards.

From a cost saving perspective, firstly making use of electronic greeting cards shows that your company has entered the eco-friendly age, as you do not make use of printed cards, which saves the trees. It is also far cheaper to communicate via email than sending physical greeting cards, as email services are mostly free. Designing more than one electronic greeting card is far cheaper than printing a variety of cards to cover your customer base, i.e. for different language options or religious groups.

Lastly, sending electronic greeting cards is great for your company’s reputation. Choosing electronic greeting cards over the more traditional method of sending printed cards, shows that your company is forward thinking in using technology to your advantage. From a marketing perspective, you can also see when your customers have received and opened their greeting cards, and this would allow you to incorporate the sending of the electronic greeting card into a future or current marketing campaign.

To summarize, not only does the sending of electronic greeting cards save you time and money, it is also a great reputational and brand builder and is a great way of starting a new email marketing campaign.

Are you going to send ecards this year? Then visit our PiKs Photography Specials page for our 2014 special on a mini photo shoot and professionally designed Christmas and Holiday Season Digital Greeting Cards. This special ends on 15 December 2014.

Pinhole photography, what is it and how do you take a pinhole photo with a DSLR camera?

According to Wikipedia, pinhole photography is taking a photo with a camera without a lens and only a small pinhole, effectively the camera becomes only a light proof box with a very small hole in it.

Pinhole photography

Pinhole photography – Flowers in the garden

There are special pinhole cameras available, but it is possible to use a modern DSLR camera to take pinhole photographs. You only need to make your own pinhole lens. This can be done by using a lens cap. There are numerous articles on the web available showing you how to make a pinhole lens.

Due to not having a proper lens on the camera, the camera settings become very important to ensure you create good pinhole photographs. These factors are also very much part and parcel of normal photography. The two main factors would be light and shutter speed. Aperture does not come into play and cannot be changed, as there is only the very small pinhole and this is fixed. Composition and your camera gear are two other factors to consider.

The pinhole, which dictates your aperture, is fixed and therefor you cannot change aperture. Thus in order to ensure clear images, the only other factors you can manipulate would be the light or ISO and shutter speed. It is thus important to use the best light available and if taking pinhole photographs early morning or late afternoon, during the golden hour times, you would be using a slow shutter speed, even as high as 30 seconds. It may also need to use a shutter release cable if you need to go beyond a 30 second shutter speed. If the light is very low, you may push your ISO up in order to have a faster shutter speed. Remember that the slower the shutter speed, the bigger chance there is for camera shake. In this case, the use of a steady platform for your camera, such as a tripod or table would be highly recommended.

Because of the small hole, it would be almost impossible to use the camera’s view finder to see what the image looks like and this makes composing your photograph a bit more difficult. You can use the live view if available on your camera.

This is where thinking about your composition before you press the shutter release button becomes very important.

As far as gear is concerned, the most important items apart from your camera and pinhole lese, would be a shutter release cable and a tripod. Both these items aid in ensuring a steady camera and eliminating camera shake and blurry photographs. Because of the fixed aperture and no real lens to ensure proper focussing, and very steady camera is very important. A steady tripod and a camera release cable would ensure that you have the steadiest platform from which to shoot your pinhole photographs.

As a final thought, here are a few tips that would come in handy when doing pinhole photography.

  • Use the best light available
  • Carefully select your shutter speed to ensure clear images
  • If needed, push up your ISO to compensate for low light situations
  • Use a tripod and shutter release cable to ensure a steady platform to shoot from

To view some of the latest pinhole photographs taken, visit our Facebook page albums section and select the Pinhole Photography album.


Launching Our New Unique Gift Idea for Mother’s Day

Our Latest Photo Book Designed Specifically For Mother's Day

Our Latest Photo Book Designed Specifically For Mother’s Day

With Mother’s day just a few weeks away on 11 May, we are happy to announce our new 10×10 photobook layout.

This layout is designed specifically to celebrate all the mothers in our lives. This clean design will be a huge hit with any mom.

Included in the photo book:

  • 20 single pages with plenty of place for photos
  • An awesome front cover design
  • 7 beautiful Word Art Quotes, specifically created for Mothers (These are non-editable, but there is plenty of place to include your own Word Art and messages)
  • Place for up to 50 images

We can create this photobook using your selection of your own images or you may schedule a photo shoot, either in-studio or on location to create a fresh set of images for the photo book.

If we use your own images, please remember that all images must be scanned in to a digital format. If you do not have such facilities, you may provide us with printed images and we will do the scanning for you. All images must be of high-resolution quality; else the printed quality may be sub-standard.

We also provide image restoration services for any of your very old images that needs a bit of a touch up or even serious repair to bring them back to their original quality.

For those who would rather have a completely new set of portrait images created, we can do either in-studio or on location photo shoot. You may choose any outdoor location you prefer or we would be more than happy to suggest a location to ensure an awesome outdoor photo shoot.

It is important that you book your photo shoot as early as possible, as places are limited. To ensure that the photo editing and creation of your photo book is done in time, we need approximately 3 to 4 weeks in total, including delivery of your photo book.

Don’t delay, secure your Mother’s Day photo book and/or Mother’s Day photo Shoot today, before all places have been taken up.

3 Reasons Why You Should Preserve Your Photos With Photo Books

wd800x800_mothers_day_cover edited Almost every household nowadays has at least one camera or smart device that is used for capturing those special moments on a regular basis, but once captured not many of those pictures ever see the light of day and those treasured pictures live on forever in the digital darkness on smart devices, computers and other digital storage devices. To ensure that those special pictures are not lost forever, but that they become part of your everyday life, preserving them using a photo book is certainly the best method of all.

With a professionally designed and created book, you can give those special moments the respect and care they deserve. A professionally designed book will bring those moments to life. Using this as a coffee table display and not hidden away in a dark place somewhere, the photo book will also ensure that those memories are always close by and available to look at and relive as often as you want.

Books have stood the test of time and have remained the same through all of the centuries. Technology on the other hand changes rapidly, almost on a daily basis and if not protected against this rapid technology change, your pictures may very quickly become obsolete, as your device has become outdated and thus those moments would be lost forever. Placing your photographs in a book will not only ensure that they are close by for you to view on a daily basis, but they will also be available for generations to come.

With all the great designs available you can design your photo book to suit your needs. The design of your photo book is only limited to your own imagination and creativity. The internet is an endless source of design suggestions, which can be used as a starting point to create your own personally designed one of a kind photo book. The photo book design can reflect a special occasion such as a wedding or birthday, a special day such as mother’s day or be used to tell your specific story such as the first year of your precious baby. Every layout and design is elegant and stylish and is great to place on a coffee table for everyone to look at. Photo books are also awesome gift ideas, ensure a gift that lasts a lifetime.

In conclusion, show case of your special moments using a professionally designed book, to relive those special memories and to tell your story.

Contact us today for your professionally designed photo book. Visit our website, for more information on photo books and other photo related products and services.

The 3 most important things to remember as a parent when doing a newborn photo shoot at home

Newborn Photography, baby photography, newborn safety in photo shoot

The most important thing to remember when doing a newborn photo shoot, is to keep the newborn baby safe and happy

When doing a recent newborn photography photo shoot, I came to realize that the most important thing to remember when doing a newborn photo shoot is to ensure that the baby is happy and comfortable.

My 3 most important tips I give any parent when doing a newborn baby photo shoot on location at their home, are the following:

  •  Remember to feed the newborn baby at least an hour or two hours before the photo shoot. This will allow for any cramps to have been sorted out before the photo shoot starts. This should also assist in having a nice sleepy little one, giving you ample time to do an awesome newborn photo shoot.
  • Ensure that the room where the baby will be photographed is warm enough to allow for the baby to be undressed during the photo shoot. If the room is to cold or to hot, the baby will be very uncomfortable during the photo shoot, making it more difficult to get those awesome baby photos every one loves. A small heater would do wonders to ensure the baby is kept warm and happy during the photo shoot
  • Relax. The parents must know they can relax at all times and that the baby comes first. If the little one is starting to get unhappy, we stop the photo shoot and attend to the baby. Once the baby is comfortable and happy, we will continue with the photo shoot. Also, a baby can sense very quickly when the parents are stressed and this will cause the baby to also become unhappy and unsettled.

KumaloGreen 5th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day Event

KumaloGreen 5th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day Event

KumaloGreen 5th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day Event

This was a very enjoyable event and a good time was had by all over the two days.

Catarina and Janine from KumaloGreen with Zelda la Grange

Catarina and Janine from KumaloGreen with Zelda la Grange

The highlight for everyone must have been the talk by Zelda La Grange (PA to Mr Nelson Mandela).

Great prizes were awared throughout the two days, which included an iPad, as well as a vacation at Karkloof Spa worth R 36,000.

Goodie Bag, Kumloa Green 5th Annual Joburg Secretaries Day

Goodie Bag

Everyone also received a goodie bag on arrival, jam packed with great items.

Overall this was a great succes and I enjoyed photographing the two day event, as much as everyone enjoyed the presentations and happenings at the event.

Photography Basics #3 – Aperture in Photography

In the third of my blog articles on photography basics, we will look a bit more closely at aperture and aperture settings on a camera. If you remember in article one, when we discussed the modes, one of them were A or AV, which is Aperture Priority mode.

Aperture Comparisons

Aperture Comparisons

In short, aperture refers to the size of the opening in the lens when a picture is taken. The larger the hole, the more light will enter the hole and come into your lens and the smaller the hole, the less light will enter the hole and come into your lens.

With a wide aperture or large hole, less of your photograph will be in focus and with a narrow aperture or small hole; more of your photograph will be in focus.

Aperture is measure in fractions, and is indicated by an F, or fractional stops (f stops), thus an f/2.8 or f/5.6, which are larger fractions than f/8, f/11 or f/16, means that the hole is also larger. This also means that on f/2.8 or f/5.6 more of the photograph will be out of focus than on f/8, f/11 or f/16.

In practical terms, to remember the following is important:

A small f/# = a big hole in the lens = less in focus, because more light comes into the lens.

A big f/# = a small hole in the lens = more in focus, because less light comes into the lens.

How does this work for you in photography? If you want to blur the background in order to de-clutter the photograph and put more emphasis on your subject, you will need a small f/#, i.e. f/2.8 or f/5.6. This is desirable in most portraiture photography.

On the other hand, if you are photographing landscapes, you would want more of the photograph in focus and would thus use a larger f/ # such as f/8, f/11 or f/16.

Now on to your exercise:

If you do not have a camera where you can set the aperture, use the portrait and landscape settings on the dial and experiment to see how this change the photograph, looking especially at the background.

If you have a camera where you can set it to AV or A (Aperture priority mode), set it to AV or A.

Take two moveable objects and place them a short distance apart, i.e. 50 cm or 1 metre. Now start by setting your aperture on the smallest f/# available, i.e. f/2.8, f/4 or f.5.6. Focus on the closest subject and take a photo. Continue to do this by changing the f/# every time going from f/2.8 to f/4, f/5.6, f/6.3, f/8, f/11 up to f/16. Remember to focus on the exact same spot every time. Have a look at each photograph and see what you notice.

You are welcome to post your observations and photographs here once you have completed your exercise.

Related posts:
Photography Basics #1 – What are all the modes on the camera dial?

Photography Basics #2 – Shutter Speed in Photography

If you have any questions or comments regarding this article, please leave a comment below.

Feel free to regularly visit PiKs Photography website for information and specials on Portrait, Event, Corporate and Commercial Photography and Photographic Products such as canvas prints and photo books.

Once in a blue moon for August 2012 – Last chance in three years to capture this

The phrase ‘once in a blue moon’ is used when the full moon phase occurs twice in the same month. Tonight, (Friday) 31 August will be such an occurrence when the second full moon for August occurs. The first one was on 1 August. The next time this will happen is only in 2015.

The moon

The moon, crisp and clear

So, tonight everyone wiil be out shooting the moon. Below are a few tips on how to achieve nice crisp and clear photographs of the moon.

  1. Zoom lens.Use your longest zoom lens, preferably 200mm or even up to a 500 mm lens if you have one. For a point-and-shoot camera, zoom in as much as possible using optical zoom only. Digital zoom does not work for this. 
  2. Use a tri-pod. If you have a tri-pod available use it, else place your camera on a very stable surface to avoid any camera shake.  
  3. Shutter release cable, camera remote or self-timer. This is another way to avoid camera shake and get crisp photographs. Use whichever one you have available. 
  4. Camera settings. As the moon is a direct light source you won’t need a very slow shutter speed or high ISO setting. For point-and-shoot cameras without A / AV or T/TV settings, experiment with the camera on night portrait or landscape settings. For cameras that can set ISO, aperture, etc, use ISO 100 *you can always go up if it does not work). Set camera to A/AV (aperture priority mode) start with aperture on f/8 and then go up to f/11 or f/16 if you need to.For those who would like to use manual mode, ISO 100, f/8 to f/16 and shutterspeed of around 1/125. Remember that the moon is a bright light source, so you won’t need a slow shutter speed.
  5. Make sure that you focus directly on the moon
  6. Shoot! And then post your photographs here so that everyone can see what they look like.

 If you have any other suggestions of photographing the moon, please post them here for everyone to read.